Businessman sues GRA; claims Land Cruiser wrongly classified as passenger vehicle

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Auto-dealer and businessman, Mohamed Shaw Jahan, has sued the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) over claims that his imported 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser has been wrongly classified as a passenger vehicle although, according to him, it is a “goods vehicle”.

The businessman contends that because of the alleged misclassification, the vehicle now attracts taxes amounting to some $14 million, while if otherwise classified as a goods vehicle, it will attract taxes under $2 million.

Mohamed Shaw Jahan

According to the application before Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George, Jahan through his attorney, Siand Dhurjon, wants a declaration that the vehicle is a commercial utility vehicle.

Jahan said the imported vehicle, which arrived in Guyana in December 2020, has already been styled by the manufacturer as a light goods vehicle. In the fixed date application, Dhurjon clarifies that the Land Cruiser is a special model which only has two seats, two doors, two ventilating windows, a flatbed cargo area to the rear and a barrier between the cargo area and the driver’s area.

Attorney-at-law, Siand Dhurjon

“It is exclusively qualified to be a goods vehicle,” Dhurjon said in an accompanying press statement.

The attorney contended that any classification of the vehicle as a “passenger vehicle” would be an erroneous misclassification and a misapprehension of the Common External Tariff found in Schedule 1 of the Customs Act, the Harmonised System Classification Codes and the World Customs Organisation’s Explanatory Notes on the issue.

The matter is fixed for hearing before Justice Damon Yonge on April 22, 2021.

Efforts by the News Room to contact the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Wednesday for a response proved futile.

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